Friday, May 25, 2012

Finding the Beauty After the Rain

I must have flowers, always, and always.
~Claude Monet

Ah, the rain. I think it's rained everyday for three weeks straight. And there is still over six months to go before the tropical season is over. *sigh*

The last few days have been really bad...over seven inches where I live. Streets are flooded and it's just dark and gloomy all day long. And to add to the gloom, I've had a stomach bug for most of the week. But not all was a wash. The came out yesterday afternoon for a bit and I took the opportunity to hurry to the mailbox before the next deluge.
And I saw something.
Four large Black Swallowtail caterpillars munching away at a pot of parsley.

Parsley Munchers

I've never had Black Swallowtails before! I saw one flying around about two weeks ago, first time seeing one in my yard ever. I had checked the parsley and there were eggs on it and I was really excited that I finally attracted a new critter to the yard. I planted the parsley two years ago in a pot and it's now rooted itself into the ground. I don't harvest from this pot as it also has milkweed and passion-vine that have self-seeded there. I noticed that they've nearly eaten all of it so I had to give up my own pot of parsley that I do harvest from that is kept on my screened-in patio. Now, they will have enough to finish eating and go pupate somewhere and make more Black Swallowtail Butterflies! I can't wait to see them zooming around my yard and hopefully I'll be able to snap a pic of one of the butterflies.

Garden Greens

After the excitement of seeing the caterpillars I wondered what else was out so I took the camera and went around snapping pictures of the caterpillars and other wet things. The birds and ducks were preening their rain-soaked feathers and all the plants were dressed in glittering diamond raindrops. There is always a silver lining isn't there? The earth is really quite pretty after a rain.

The Sentry

Urchin Textures

Encased in Beauty

Plant Parts

Rain Kissed

Mona Lavender


Tale of the Orchid

 Cassia Leaf

 Glistening Diamonds of Pink


 Star Light Star Bright

Egg of the Giant Swallowtail

I hope you enjoyed this rainy stroll through my secret garden and don't forget to...

Stop and smell the roses

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Back to the Research and Discovery!

Hello my creative friends!
I just wanted to post a quick hello and to let you all know I've revamped my other blog, The Great Ancestral Hunt! There is a new post too! I have finally found some time to start my research back up and am looking forward to receiving the results of a DNA test I took through I sent my spittle off last week and it will take about 6-8 weeks for the results. In the meantime, if you haven't been over to The Great Ancestral Hunt in a while, or if it's your first time there, be sure to check the surname lists...we may be cousins! :-)

My new header with pics of  some of my most interesting ancestors!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away...

It's been raining for two weeks now. It's not even the start of rainy season yet. The sun has hardly made an appearance this month. Don't get me wrong, I love the rain. A good rainy day can wash all the gunk off, make you slow down and take a breather. When I can't go out and take pictures, I stay in and do art. I'm still working mostly in my art journals and have been kicking up my technical drawing skills. It's been fun, but I miss getting out with the camera. Hopefully, this week, I'll get to greet the sun again and head out for some picture-taking. Until then, here is what I've worked on this week and I hope it inspires you all to keep learning and practicing your art, in whatever medium you love. :)

Apple & Pear
Moleskine Watercolor

Watercolor Mixing Chart

My First Barbie
Mixed Media, Moleskine Art Journal

Draping Practice

Draping Practice 2
Watercolor, Gouche and Colored Pencils

Technical Drawing vs. Sketching
You can see the difference on body shape and proportion. 

Here are three nature drawings where I practiced my mark making with pen in anticipation of adding watercolor at a later time. Once I started the mark-making process, I found I couldn't was so fun!

As the start of summer approaches, the time for creativity begins to shrink for me as guests start arriving for vacations, I start making my own travel plans and we tackle some remodeling projects. I'm hoping to continue this creative flow I've found lately and keep squeezing in art whenever I have a free day. What have you all been working on this month? Do share! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Color Challenge: Breeze Driftin' On By...

The challenge was to use lime green, hot pink and black and create something. I took on the challenge along with Nichole and Alex. Spring has been very inspiring to me this year so my piece reflects the season:

Breeze Driftin' On By...

I'd like to thank Nichole and Alex for participating! And, I've decided they both will win a Keri Smith Book! Alex, can you text or email me your addy?  Congrats girls for being creative and taking on the challenge despite your busy lives and for always supporting my creative endeavors!   

Monday, May 7, 2012

Today in Nature

I saw a Black Swallowtail in the yard. First time ever. I hurried outside with my camera but alas, it was gone. Of course, there are always other things to take pictures of in my secret garden. Like my largest male duck, Kippur. He's always got a couple of ladies with him and he is very impatient. If I don't throw out the food quick enough, he tends to bite my thigh. This is his "Where the hell is the food?" look:

Muscovy Portrait

He's got the cutest spotted feet:

Spotted Duck Feet

And even though I didn't get a shot of the Black Swallowtail, nature did reward me with a consolation prize:

Three-spotted Skipper

Life is good. :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Color Challenge: Hot Pink, Lime Green & Black

Ah, the 1980's. Preppy polo's in hot pink, Converse in lime green and who can forget black and white knee high socks worn on our arms instead of our legs as we headed out to the roller rink or attempted to break dance? I'm hosting a Color Challenge this week and challenging all you artsy & crafty readers to create something with these three colors. Any method, any medium! It can be an art journal page, photography, digital art, mixed media...heck, even bake a cake! This is to inspire you to make something. To fit a smidgen of creativity into your week! And, for all those who participate, there will be a little giveaway! Once you have completed your fabulous work of art, come back to this blog post and leave a link to your picture in the comments so we can all go ooh and ahh over it! Everyone who does will be in the drawing to win Keri Smith's cute little book  The Non-Planner Datebook!

The winner will be announced next Sunday, May 13th.  Good luck and happy creating!